Morristown poised for continued transformation, according to Colliers report

Colliers International is bullish on Morristown’s transformation, according to a new report, citing the town’s pipeline of new commercial and multifamily projects.

A Colliers executive did offer the caveat that the report is based on data from before the March outbreak of coronavirus in New Jersey.

“The report was written before the full impact and closures of the coronavirus was really seen here,” John Obeid, senior director, suburban tri-state research, told ROI-NJ. “The (data) in the article was through 4Q 2019, but, even looking at the first quarter of 2020, the impact the coronavirus had on the numbers was very minimal, given that it happened towards the end of March. We’ll start seeing the effects on the data in the second quarter.”

File photo
A rendering of the 21 South St., Morristown, project.

In the report issued Wednesday, Colliers said Morristown already has more than 1,200 multifamily residential units, with multiple projects in progress, including:

  • Morristown Train Station project: 89 units;
  • 30 Court: 58 units;
  • Market/Bank Street: 54 units;
  • 190 South St.: 30 units;
  • Spring Street: 24 units.

The report also described office construction as transformative. Colliers said vacancy levels in the town are at record lows, with only nine office properties larger than 25,000 square feet extant in the downtown area.

However, office construction is on the rise, with projects including SJP Properties’ and Scotto Properties’ mixed-use M Station, the redevelopment of 21 South St. and the capital improvement project at 1776 on the Green. (The last major office building in the town dates to 2017, with most properties built before 1995, Colliers noted.)

Of course, any further growth must deal with the X factor that is COVID-19, Obeid said.

“It’s hard to anticipate what impact the virus will have,” he said. “In the short term, the closures of non-essential business and social distancing mandates have changed the way business is being conducted, but the economic backdrop now versus that of the Great Recession are different, so it’s difficult to draw any parallels.”